The Aerie, Yearbook of University of North Texas, 1990 Page: 85
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"The Abduction from the Seraglio" marks
opera director's tenth year at NT designing productions
and instructing both the dramatic and vocal aspects of the opera
he NT opera department held its one
large semester production on March 1-
4, performing Wolfgang Amadeus Mo-
zart's comic masterpiece, "The Abduc-
tion from the Seraglio," (1781). The classic
tale of romance, deception and humorous in-
trigue was enthusiastically received by audi-
ences on all three nights and was considered
to be a major highlight of the College of
Music's spring 1990 sea-
son. The production
boasted a large cast and
chorus, including Royce
I I_.~rr~ Blackburn as Pasha; Emi-
ly Pulley as Constanza;
Kim Bean as Blonda;
Timothy Tucker as Os-
min; Michael Denham and Kenneth Wood as
Belmonte; and Kevin Sutton as Pedrillo. Other
cast members were David Cloutire, Efrain
Esparilla and Mark McCrory.
"The Abduction from the Seraglio" was
also significant in that it marked the tenth year
at NT for opera director, Dr. Dennis Wakel-
ing. Still feeling like "the new kid on the
block," Wakeling was an integral part of every
operatic performance put on at NT. Although
he was not a singer, Wakeling usually de-
signed all the productions and acted as in-
structor for both the dramatic and vocal as-
pects of opera. Wakeling also lent his talents
to organizations outside of NT, such as the
Dallas Opera, a summer opera in Wichita Falls
and the opera program at the University of
Texas at Arlington (as guest designer).
Future plans for upcoming semesters were
sketchy. One reason was financial, a problem
many departments faced. Wakeling would of
liked to have had a "traveling opera troupe,"
but one did not look promising in the near
future. Another problem with scheduling per-
formances in advance concerned incoming
students. Before Wakeling could decide on
pieces, he had to determine the potential and
present ability of all students. As it was, the
only students who usually ended up partici-
pating in performances were upperclassmen
and graduate students. This was not favorit-
ism, said Wakeling, but "physiologically nec-
essary," as newer students did not have the
vocal ability to handle the strain opera put on
the vocal chords.
Getting into the opera program was diffi-
cult. A prospective student must have com-
pleted diction courses in English, German,
French and Italian; two years of a language
other than Spanish; and other general music
requirements. All opera students had to audi-
tion for lead parts or chorus. As a general rule,
underclassmen were not permitted in lead
roles (due to possible vocal damage), unless
the student had shown special adaptability for
Trying though it was, a number of students
had gone on from NT to major, national
opera companies. For example, recent gradu-
ates included Patricia Racette, who was a so-
prano in San Francisco; Lia Rosatto, currently
with the St. Louis opera; and Henry Price, a
tenor with a New York City troupe. The opera
department - and Wakeling - looked for-
ward to promoting other students into the
national opera scene.
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University of North Texas. The Aerie, Yearbook of University of North Texas, 1990, yearbook, 1990; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth61055/m1/88/: accessed October 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Special Collections.